The 25 Best Offensive Fantasy Baseball Seasons in MLB History
Ah, spring time—the transition from Dickie V and diaper dandies to Pitchers & Catchers Reports.
After a sad fantasy football ending (Thanks NFL Network, at least someone feels similar pain—Long Live "Whatchu Talkin' Bout Hillis??"), a silky smooth pimp daddy like myself can only hope to get to this MLB draft. Is this what it's like being a Washington Redskins fan, waiting until the draft for a shot at hope?
After reading a few "insider" opinions on mock MLB Fantasy Drafts and spending far too much time testing my sports IQ on Sporcle (two thumbs up), I stumbled upon the thought of "who is the best fantasy player in their career?" This is what happens when your childhood is spent watching Little Big League.
After this long essay of shameful self-promotion, here are the 25 greatest fantasy baseball seasons of all time.
25: 2007, Alex Rodriguez (814 Points)
The owner of two of the most lucrative contracts in MLB history (2001-10: $252M; 2008-17: $275M), A-Rod aka Pay-Rod aka A-Roid put up incredible numbers in 2007, earning him MVP honors.
814 fantasy points
24: 1997, Larry Walker (818 Points)
The 24th best offensive fantasy baseball season housed some of the crispest lettuce in the game. The 1997 NL MVP Larry Walker posted some incredible fantasy numbers:
818 fantasy points
23: 1931 Babe Ruth (820 Points)
Maybe Kemp would have won MVP had he had a Babe Ruth batting average. Five stolen bases pads Ruth's fantasy stats too.
820 fantasy points
22: 1998, Mark McGwire (824)
During the so-called "Season that Saved the MLB", Mark McGwire's (former) single-season record of 70 home runs led the chase for the record between he and Slammin' Sammy Sosa. Apparently Andro 8000 makes you cry.
Whatever your stance is on McGwire and his asterisks, his '98 season was one of the best of all time:
824 fantasy points
21: 1934, Lou Gehrig (824 Points)
The former Columbia football player Sweet Louie Louie lands on this list multiple times, beginning with No. 21.
824 fantasy points
20: 1928, Babe Ruth (825 Points)
Did you know that Ruth led the AL in ERA as a starting pitcher? Ruth posted a 1.75 ERA. Oh, and in 1928 he had a pretty good run with the stick too.
825 fantasy points
19: 1930, Babe Ruth (828 Points)
Fittingly, Ruth followed his No. 20 fantasy season with another incredible season in 1930.
828 fantasy points
18: 1922, Rogers Hornsby (830 Points)
Hornsby's best fantasy season occurred in 1922, which he followed up with MVP Awards in 1925 and 1929.
His Triple Crown in 1922 was one of the all-time best seasons.
830 fantasy points
17: 1937, Hank Greenberg (832 Points)
Surprisingly, it took Hank 10 years on the ballot to get elected into the Hall of Fame (1956). The two-time AL MVP led the league in home runs four times during the duration of his career, neither of which occurred in his 1937 season:
832 fantasy points
16: 1930, Chuck Klein (835 Points)
My main man Chuck is the last player in MLB history to lead the league in both home runs and stolen bases (1932). Following his home run title in 1929, Chuck posted incredible fantasy numbers:
835 fantasy points
15: 1938, Jimmie Foxx (837 Points)
Double X was a true dude. Foxx was the second player to hit 500 home runs (behind the Babe) in a career and was the youngest player to ever achieve that feat—until Pay-Roid in 2007. Don't worry, 1938 wasn't Foxx's only standout season.
837 fantasy points
14: 1949, Ted Williams (840 Points)
"The Kid", "The Splendid Splinter", "Teddy Ballgame", "The Thumper" or "The Greatest Kid Who Ever Lived". His .551 OBP was a record for 61 years. He had one of the most unbelievable careers in MLB history—twice paused for military service.
In this 1949 season, Williams got a new salary ($100,000—roughly $1 million today) and missed his third Triple Crown Award by .0002 to the Tigers' George Kell.
840 fantasy points
13: 2001, Sammy Sosa (845 Points)
The funniest criticism I've ever heard regarding 43rd President George W. Bush, was "How could he be a good President? He traded away Sammy Sosa!"
As the only member of this list recording zero stolen bases, Slammin' Sammy Sosa posted great numbers in 2001 to land at No. 13 on this list:
845 fantasy points
12: 1930, Lou Gehrig (847 Points)
It was a big year in 1930 for Gehrig. Lou goes into the Hall of Fame as a first baseman, outfielder and shortstop (for one at-bat). Larrupin' Lou lands at No. 12:
847 fantasy points
11: 1920, Babe Ruth (847 Points)
This is probably about the time when Harry Frazee was realizing that he made the dumbest trade in sports history. In a 1920 Boston Globe article, Frazee had this to say:
"I should have preferred to take players in exchange for Ruth, but no club could have given me the equivalent in men without wrecking itself, and so the deal had to be made on a cash basis. No other club could afford to give me the amount the Yankees have paid for him, and I don't mind saying I think they are taking a gamble. With this money the Boston club can now go into the market and buy other players and have a stronger and better team in all respects than we would have had if Ruth had remained with us."
Whatever makes you sleep at night, bro. Here's what you missed out on:
847 fantasy points
10: 1911, Ty Cobb (851 Points)
Here you sit thinking Milton Bradley was nuts—my man Tyrus was a straight monster in Detroit.
Remember Jose Reyes bunting for a single to hopefully win the batting title not too long ago? Ty Cobb invented that in 1910, though the circumstances were a bit different.
Cobb was .004 ahead of Nap Lajole, and sat out the final games to try to win the coveted batting title award, a Chalmers Automobile. However, Lajole finished off the season with eight hits in a double header—six of which were bunt singles. Also, very Mr. 3000-esque, it was later found out that one of Cobb's best games was counted twice, receiving nothing but scrutiny.
Following this Jersey Shore-type drama, Cobb unloaded on the league in 1911, in which he had a 40-game hit streak, a .420 average, and a well deserved AL MVP Award.
851 fantasy sports
9: 1936, Lou Gehrig (854 Points)
The Iron Horse on the list yet again, more to come...
854 fantasy points
8: 1923, Babe Ruth (864 Points)
Did you know: Ruth threw 29 and 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in World Series—a 43-year-old record until Whitey Ford topped it in 1961.
864 fantasy points
7: 1930, Hack Wilson (871 Points)
Hack hit 56 homers in 1930—a National League record for 68 years. In 1999, the MLB Commissioner increased Hack's 130 RBI's to 191 thanks to a box score miscalculation. The 191 RBI's is one of the most ridiculous records in MLB history where only Gehrig (184) and Hank Greenberg (183) came close to touching it.
871 fantasy points
6: 1932, Jimmie Foxx (873 Points)
Yet again gracing the list is Double X. Foxx was one of the most feared sluggers of his era.
"He has muscles in his hair."—Lefty Gomez, New York Yankee Pitcher
In 1937, Foxx hit a ball into the third deck of the left field stands at Yankee Stadium—a rare feat given the distance and the angle of the stands.
Foxx is the only player to make this list twice, on two different teams.
873 fantasy points
5: 2001, Barry Bonds (877 Points)
Hailing from the most famous high school in the country, Junipero Serra in San Mateo, CA—the only high school to produce two Super Bowl MVPs (Tommy Brady, Lynn Swann). Bonds had talent since day 1.
Bonds had one of the best careers in baseball history, with 7 MVPs (one of his 17 MLB Records), 8 Gold Gloves, 12 Silver Sluggers, 3 Player of the Year awards, etc.
Bonds recently survived an incredible 8-year Federal Investigation for falsifying steroid allegations in a Grand Jury Testimony, and hopefully will be in the Hall of Fame next year—the most controversial class of all time.
His 2001 Season was one of the best:
877 fantasy points
4: 1927, Babe Ruth (884 Points)
Ever heard Ruth's violent "Perfect" Game?
"Incensed by the calls of umpire Brick Owens after walking the first batter he faced, Ruth was promptly ejected, causing him to strike Owens behind his left ear — he was later fined $100 for his actions. Policemen dragged Ruth off the field and Ernie Shore, whom was sold to the Red Sox by the Orioles with Ruth in 1914, replaced him on the mound. The runner was thrown out and Shore subsequently retired the next 26 batters, defeating the Senators 4-0. Originally recognized as a perfect game, it's technically considered a shared no-hitter today but referred to by many as an "unofficial" perfect game, a feat also accomplished by Harvey Haddix and Pedro Martinez."
Ruth also had a near perfect season in 1927:
884 fantasy points
3: 1927, Lou Gehrig (892 Points)
Ruth's "near perfect" 1927 year was overshadowed by his teammate and cleanup hitter, Lou.
Say what? A fantasy team in 1927 with Ruth and Gehrig would land you 1776 fantasy points?
892 fantasy points
2: 1931, Lou Gehrig (896 Points)
Lou's incredible career earned him "Lou Gehrig Day" (pictured, July 4, 1939). His 1931 season was the best of his career, and second best in the history of the game:
896 fantasy points
1: 1921, Babe Ruth (971 Points)
I believe the exact quote was "AY Dawg, watch me hit this one past that flag pole...way the hell out there"
Whatever the urban legend holds today, Babe's best season (cheers bro, seven out of the top 25) came in 1921—sure to add to Harry Frazee's depression. Babe was the only player in MLB history to tally over 900 fantasy points in one season.
971 fantasy points